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Halide light bill heads to Oregon House for a vote Tuesday

Rep. Greg Macpherson, D-Lake Oswego, will lead legislation to a vote on the floor of the Oregon House of Representatives Tuesday that would, if passed, require that all Oregon school districts replace light bulbs that can injure students and teachers.

Senate Bill 479 is sponsored jointly by Macpherson and by Sen. Richard Devlin, D-Tualatin, who carried the bill in the Senate earlier.

'This bill protects teachers in our public schools and the students they teach,' Macpherson said. It requires all school districts in this state to replace R type metal halide or mercury vapor light bulbs with T type lights bulbs. The T type bulbs have an internal mechanism that shuts off the light within 15 minutes after the bulb is broken.

The legislation was proposed in response to injuries suffered by a group of Lake Oswego teachers in 2004 who were burned by a defective metal halide light bulb while seated beneath it. The teachers were attending an in-service training day at Bryant Elementary School. Several of them suffered long-term injuries

The Lake Oswego School District took action to replace the dangerous bulbs promptly after the 2004 injuries.